Droupadi Murmu

President of India since 2022

Droupadi Murmu

Official portrait, 2022
15th President of India
Incumbent
Assumed office
25 July 2022
Prime Minister Narendra Modi
Vice President
  • Venkaiah Naidu
  • Jagdeep Dhankhar
Preceded by Ram Nath Kovind
9th Governor of Jharkhand
In office
18 May 2015 – 12 July 2021
Chief Ministers Raghubar Das
Hemant Soren
Preceded by Syed Ahmed
Succeeded by Ramesh Bais
Minister of State, Odisha
Independent Charge
In office
6 August 2002 – 16 May 2004
Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik
Ministry Fisheries and Animal Resources Development
In office
6 March 2000 – 6 August 2002
Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik
Ministry Commerce and Transport
Member of Odisha Legislative Assembly
In office
5 March 2000 – 21 May 2009
Preceded by Laxman Majhi
Succeeded by Shyam Charan Hansdah
Constituency Rairangpur
Personal details
Born
Puti Biranchi Tudu

(1958-06-20) 20 June 1958 (age 64)
Uparbeda, Mayurbhanj, Odisha, India

Political party Bharatiya Janata Party
Spouse
Shyam Charan Murmu

(m 1980; died 2014)

Children 1 (Itishri Murmu)
Residence Rashtrapati Bhawan (primary)
Alma mater Rama Devi Women’s University (BA)
Occupation Politician
Profession Teacher

Droupadi Murmu (née Puti Biranchi Tudu, born 20 June 1958) is an Indian politician who has been serving as the 15th president of India since 25 July 2022 She is the first person belonging to the tribal community and also the second woman after Pratibha Patil to hold the office She is also the youngest person to occupy the post and the first President born in Independent India Prior to her presidency she served as the ninth governor of Jharkhand between 2015 and 2021, and held various portfolios in the cabinet of Government of Odisha between 2000 and 2004

Before entering politics, she worked as a clerk in the State Irrigation and Power Department from 1979 to 1983, and then as a teacher in Rairangpur until 1997

Personal life

Droupadi Murmu was born to a Santali family on 20 June 1958, in Uparbeda village in the Baidaposi area of Rairangpur, Odisha Her father Biranchi Narayan Tudu was a farmer Her father and grandfather were traditional heads (designated Sarpanch) of the village council (Gram Panchayat) Her family named her Puti Tudu She was renamed by her school teacher to Droupadi, and her name was changed several times to those including Durpadi and Dorpdi in the past

Murmu studied elementary education at the local primary school in Uparbeda At age five, she moved to Bhubaneswar for higher studies She completed secondary education from Girl’s High School Unit-2, and graduated in BA from Rama Devi Women’s College

She married Shyam Charan Murmu, a banker, in 1980 with whom she had two sons and a daughter Her husband, two sons, mother, and a brother all died in a span of 7 years, from 2009 to 2015 She is a follower of the Brahma Kumaris spiritual movement

Early career

From 1979 to 1983, Murmu worked as a junior assistant at the irrigation department of the Government of Odisha From 1994 to 1997, she then worked as a teacher at the school Sri Aurobindo Integral Education and Research Centre in Rairangpur, where she taught Hindi, Odia, Maths and Geography She never claimed for a full salary at the school

Political career

In 1997, Droupadi Murmu was elected as the councillor of the Rairangpur Nagar Panchayat as an independent candidate from a reserved seat for women She then joined the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)

She won the 2000 Odisha Legislative Assembly election from Rairangpur Assembly constituency and served two terms in the Odisha Legislative Assembly between 2000 and 2009 During the BJP and BJD coalition government in Odisha, she was the Minister of State with Independent Charge for Commerce and Transportation from 6 March 2000 to 6 August 2002, and Fisheries and Animal Resources Development from 6 August 2002 to 16 May 2004

In 2007, she received the Nilkanth Award for the Best MLA of the Odisha Legislative Assembly In 2009, she lost the Lok Sabha election from Mayurbhanj Lok Sabha constituency as the BJD and BJP alliance had ended She was elected to the BJP National Executive (ST Morcha) in 2013, and was the district president until 2015

Governor of Jharkhand (2015–2021)

Governor Murmu with Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2015

Murmu was sworn in as the Governor of Jharkhand on 18 May 2015, becoming the first woman to hold the position The BJP was in power in the Jharkhand Government for most of her six-year tenure as a governor and was also in power in the Union Government throughout her tenure She appointed Hemant Soren as Chief Minister of Jharkhand in 2019

Ratan Tirkey, a former BJP politician and activist, said that Murmu had not done enough to make sure that the self-governance rights granted to tribal communities were properly implemented These rights were granted under the Fifth Schedule and the Panchayats (Extension to Scheduled Areas) Act, 1996 or PESA Tirkey said, “Despite several requests, the then governor never exercised her powers to implement the Fifth Schedule provisions and Pesa in letter and spirit”

Her six-year tenure as Governor began in May 2015 and ended in July 2021

Pathalgadi movement

Main article: Pathalgadi movement

In 2016–2017, the Raghubar Das ministry was seeking amendments to the Chhotanagpur Tenancy Act, 1908, and the Santhal Pargana Tenancy Act, 1949 These two original laws had safeguarded the rights of tribal communities on their land According to the existing laws, land transactions could only be done between tribal communities The new amendments gave the tribals the right to allow the government to make commercial use of tribal land and to take tribal land on lease The proposed bill amending the existing law had been approved by the Jharkhand Legislative Assembly The bills were sent to Murmu for approval in November 2016

The tribal people had strongly objected to the proposed law During the Pathalgadi movement, protests were held against the proposed amendments to the tenancy acts In one incident, the protest turned violent and the tribals abducted the security detail of the BJP Member of Parliament Karia Munda Police responded with a violent crack-down on tribal communities, that caused the death of a tribal man Criminal cases were filed against more than 200 people including the tribal rights activist Stan Swamy Murmu was criticized for her soft stand on police aggression against tribal communities during the movement According to woman tribal rights activist Aloka Kujur she was expected to speak up to the government in support of the tribals but this did not happen, and instead she appealed to the Pathalgarhi agitation leaders to repose faith in the constitution

Murmu with Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu in New Delhi in 2017

Murmu had received total of 192 memorandums against the amendments in the bill Then opposition leader Hemant Soren had said that the BJP government wanted to acquire tribal land through the two amendment Bills for the benefit of corporates Opposition parties Jharkhand Mukti Morcha, the Indian National Congress, the Jharkhand Vikas Morcha and others had put intense pressure against the bill On 24 May 2017, Murmu relented and refused to give assent to the bills and returned the bill to the state government along with the memorandums she had received The bill was later withdrawn in August 2017

Religion and land bill

In 2017, she approved the Freedom of Religion Bill, 2017, and the bill to amend the Land Acquisition 2013 Act passed by the Jharkhand Assembly

The new religion bill makes it an offence subject to a penalty of three years in prison, to coerce or lure a person to convert their religion If the person coerced is a member of a Scheduled Caste or tribe, a minor, or female, the prison term increases to four years Fines can be levied in any case The bill also made it mandatory for voluntary converts, to inform the Deputy Commissioner about their conversion, and to give full details about the circumstances

The amendments in the Land Acquisition Act, 2013, involved changes in the compensation duration and requirements for social impacts assessment According to the passed law, monetary compensation for government acquisition of tribal land must be paid within six months of acquisition The requirement for social impact assessments was dropped for some types of infrastructure projects

Presidential campaign

Main article: 2022 Indian presidential election

In June 2022, the BJP nominated Murmu as the National Democratic Alliance (NDA)’s candidate for President of India for the 2022 election the following month Yashwant Sinha, was nominated as the candidate for president by the opposition parties During her election campaign, Murmu visited various states seeking support for her candidature Several opposition parties like BJD, YSRCP, JMM, BSP, SS, JD(S) among others had announced support for her candidature prior to polling On 21 July 2022, Murmu secured a clear majority in the 2022 Presidential election defeating common opposition candidate Yashwant Sinha with 676,803 electoral votes (6403% of total) in 21 of the 28 states (including in the union territory of Puducherry) to become the 15th President of India

She was elected as the President of India and assumed office on 25 July 2022 She took oath of office on the Central Hall of Parliament by the Chief Justice N V Ramana

Presidency (2022–present)

Main article: Presidency of Droupadi Murmu

Chief Justice N V Ramana administering the oath of the office to President-elect Murmu

She is the first person from India’s designated tribal communities to be elected president She is the youngest and first individual born after India’s independence in 1947 to have been elected president Murmu is only the second woman after Pratibha Patil to serve as President of India

Murmu speaking before the 75th Independence Day, August 2022

Murmu addressed the nation for the first time as the President of India, on 14 August 2022, Independence day eve She greeted the citizens of the country on the 75th Independence

In September 2022, she launched a government program ‘Pradhanmantri TB mukht Bharat’ – an initiative to eradicate Tuberculosis from the country She became the first ever President of India, to inaugurate the ‘Mysuru Dasara’ a 10 day state festival in Karnataka In the initial months, Murmu paid vast visits to the north-eastern states of the country including Assam, Mizoram, Nagaland and Sikkim and engaged in ceremonies of various development projects

In November 2022, she paid her first visit to her home state Odisha after assuming the office of the President, to participate in the launch of various programmes During this visit she visited her alumni school and later interacted with school children along the sideways of the road and walked 2 kilometers to pay obeisance to the deities of Puri Jagannath Temple

Murmu meeting with Prime Minister of Bangladesh Sheikh Hasina at Rashtrapati Bhavan in New Delhi, September 2022

Political positions

She follows the BJP party line on making Hindi the national language of India and their support of Hindu nationalism (Hindutva) She supports BJP’s 2020 Indian agriculture acts (commonly known as the farm laws)

Murmu has expressed admiration for India’s first prime minister, Jawaharlal Nehru She has hailed Mahatma Gandhi and also B R Ambedkar for his contributions in making the Constitution of India

Electoral performance

This section is transcluded from Rairangpur Assembly constituency (edit | history)
Odisha Assembly election, 2000:
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
BJP Droupadi Murmu 25,110 3415
INC Laxman Majhi 20542 2793
JMM Braja Mohan Hansdah 10485 1426
Majority 4568 621
Turnout 74997 5981
Registered electors 125,385
BJP gain from INC Swing

Odisha Assembly election, 2004:
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
BJP Droupadi Murmu 29,295
JMM Ram Chandra Murmu 29253
INC Laxman Majhi 22551
Majority 42 005
Turnout 89689
Registered electors 131,315
BJP hold Swing
This section is transcluded from Mayurbhanj (Lok Sabha constituency) (edit | history)
2009 Indian general elections: Mayurbhanj
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
BJD Laxman Tudu 256,648 3108
JMM Sudam Marndi 1,90,470 2306
BJP Droupadi Murmu 1,50,827 1826
INC Laxman Majhi 1,40,770 1704
IND Rameswar Majhi 25,603 310
Majority 66,178 802
Turnout 8,24,754 7027
BJD gain from JMM Swing
This section is transcluded from Rairangpur Assembly constituency (edit | history)
2014 Odisha Legislative Assembly election: Rairangpur
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
BJD Saiba Sushil Kumar Hansdah 51,062 523
BJP Droupadi Murmu 44,679 -987
INC Shyam Charan Hansdah 29,006
JMM Purna Chandra Marndi 7,078
BSP Lambodar Murmu 6,082
Independent Biswanath Kisku 3,090
AAP Sudarsan Murmu 1,651
AOP Birsa Kandankel 2,031
NOTA None of the above 2,034
Majority
Turnout
Registered electors
BJD gain from INC Swing
This section is transcluded from 2022 Indian presidential election (edit | history)
Results of the 2022 Indian presidential election
Candidate Coalition Individual
votes
Electoral
College votes
%
Draupadi Murmu National Democratic Alliance 2,824 676,803 6403
Yashwant Sinha United Opposition 1,877 380,177 3597
Valid votes 4,701 1,056,980 9889
Blank and invalid votes 53 15,397 111
Total 4,754 1,072,377 100
Registered voters / Turnout 4,809 1,086,431 9886

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